Google 1st tech firm to comply with new S Korean Internet law

South Korea’s ICT ministry said on Monday that tech giant Google will take measures to provide stable services, becoming the first company to come under the country’s revised law that holds online content providers accountable for service errors.

On December 14 last year, multiple Google services, including YouTube, Gmail and Google Calendar, went down for around an hour globally, prompting the Ministry of Science and ICT to look into the matter.

According to the ministry, Google experienced an authentication system error for approximately 50 minutes that day as it did not allocate storage space for the system during a previous maintenance session.

The company told the ministry last month that it has yet to receive any compensation claims globally for the service error.

The ministry said Google will pursue measures to preemptively detect such problems and that in future service errors, the company will notify local users through its Korean social media channels, reports Yonhap news agency.

The move comes after South Korea last year passed a revision to the Telecommunications Business Act, requiring large online content providers to report service errors and take measures to provide stable services amid growing complaints against streaming giants Netflix and Google after multiple outages.

The new rules apply to online companies that account for 1 percent or more of the country’s average daily data traffic in the last three months of a year and those that have more than 1 million daily users, which includes global tech giants Google, Facebook and Netflix, as well as local rivals Naver, Kakao and streaming service Wavve.

The ministry said it is also planning to review Wavve’s service error on January 27 that partially stopped its video-on-demand service.